As Capoeira popularity in New York City grows, one key person who is making sure to leave her stamp on the industry is instructor Joy San Agustin a.k.a “Coruja” of the Capoeira Center. Augustin has not only gain national recognition, but she found a passion that helps others and has changed her life along the way. As Industry Rules continued to sit down with Joy, she gave us a great inside look not only into her world as a woman in a male dominated industry, but her journey to how she has gained success within the eighteen years of perfecting her craft.

SG: With over 18 years of experience in the Capoeira, how long did it take you to grasp and master the art of Capoeira?

JA: I am still practicing every single day, with this art you understand how to play with other people, learn the dialog, but you never fully master it until the community recognizes you as an official master. So, I am still very much learning.

SG: What are the pros and con of this industry?
JA: The pros are that you get to meet an awesome community of people from all walks of life from young to old. You also get to learn about yourself, the Brazilian culture, music and not only the physical movements. but you learn the Portuguese language, along with the instruments that are needed to carry out the culture of Capoeira. The con’s I would say is when someone new is learning the art from the very beginning because it is tough if you are not determined, and it will cause many students to quit. Lastly, not everyone can commit to the change of the lifestyle.

SG: How do maintain the proper lifestyle to keep you succeeding in the sport?
JA: Well, I think because I am in a high position of being a role model, especially since I teach, I have to try to keep in shape. Since it is a sport that does cause a lot of wear and tears on your body, I have to make sure that I eat well, get enough rest and learn to listen to my body more as I get older to continue maintaining the lifestyle successfully.

SG: What is like to be a woman in this male dominated industry?
JA: Of course, I’ve had some tough moments, but you have to learn to be better than the man in a way to earn respect. Also, women don’t get as much time like the man in Capoeira and along not being that many women in that particular art as I witness in the events that there is only a sprinkle of women. It’s tough, but that is why it is important for myself to be part of any leadership role to create visibility and influence for other women.

SG: How do you keep your student motivated and inspired?
JA: I to get around that by nurturing them by challenging them enough to where they gain confidence and help them succeed in their growth while showing them over time to discover their passion for Capoeira.

SG: How have you applied what you learned in Capoeira to your everyday life?
JA: Capoeira has taught me to have more patience and that there many different ways to solve a problem to resolve situations and becoming more present in life.

SG: What makes this Industry Rule to you specifically?
JA: The community. I get to meet different people in all walks of life and the togetherness of everyone who practices the art to help you grow by pushing you through all the challenges that come along with it.

If you find yourself wanting to know more, like Industry Rules did make sure to check out the Capoeira Training Center website for more information.